Belfast Telegraph

Cat communication woes revealed

Feline blue and misunderstood? Spare a thought for cats, whose owners cannot tell when they are happy or sad.

According to a survey, two-thirds of people are unaware that purring is a sign of pain as well as contentment.

The poll for the charity Cats Protection also revealed that more than two-thirds (67%) do not recognise a tail in the air as a sign of greeting.

Nearly half (49%) of owners do not know that licking lips is a sign of stress in cats, and not of feeling hungry or dry lips.

Scared cats wanting to hide put down their ears but more than a third of cat owners (38%) do not know.

A total of 27% mistakenly think that malting is a cat's way of marking its territory, when in reality cats mark their territory by rubbing their faces against furniture.

But owners are not completely ignorant of their pets' body language - 69% can tell that a slow blinking cat is relaxing.

About two-thirds (68%) also knew that a cat with its stomach on show is giving a relaxed greeting.

The online survey, carried out by ICM for Cats Protection, quizzed 1,100 cat owners.

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